Friday, April 19, 2019

My Weight Loss Journey


Among the list of a number of things I've changed in my life in the past year is getting out and doing something active on more days.  I hesitate to say every day, but I think I can confidently say that being active has become a more central part of my life.  

This isn't to say that I wasn't moving or doing things previously, but there has been an important shift in it.  I think the most significant part is that I am doing it in a focused and enjoyable way.  I always used to move quickly — I would have this pace that was a fast clip — I would clip to the train, to work, around the store... it was all about efficiency, timeliness, and honestly it was kind of stress inducing.  It was built on the 'more more more' mindset of 'doing it all', 'being everywhere', and shaving off every second to get to the next thing.  I didn't really stop to breathe. or think. or enjoy?  I have this little voice in me that whispers — questioning every moment if I'm doing enough or working in the right way, or using every little second to get the most done, do the best job... whew!  It's exhausting.

Which is why I feel like it's SO important what I'm doing now.  I really am trying to take more pressure off of myself.  Tell myself I'm good enough and that I can allow myself moments to e n j o y things around me.  Enjoy the company of those around me.  Enjoy life.  And that I don't need to have a constant soundtrack playing in my mind saying "workworkworkworkwork" to a steady clipping pace.

Sure, on times that I'm walking alone, I'm constantly trying to move fast, beat the pace from my last mile, and walk more miles than the day before.  I seem to have this constant competitive compulsion, that I must repeatedly top the last goal I made.  So days that I get to walk with Drew are the days that I'm able to let go a little and just take in the surroundings, and see how nature is changing around us.

We've been consistently walking on *most* mornings (Any time we both happen to get the morning off work, so probably not actually most, more like 3x week?) since about last August.   So it's been about 8ish months.   And I am super happy to report both my more relaxed mental state, and my weight loss of roughly 20 lbs.

I honestly don't feel like anything we've done has been particularly hard, other than making sure to carve out the time to do it.  It's basically been committing to getting up and moving on those mornings off instead of listening to that little voice going "stay home... eat a donut..." hauntingly in my ear.  Yes, we do walk about 6-8 miles when we walk.  Yes it takes like 2 hours out of your day.  Yes, I've been counting calories and I log everything I eat.  Yes, I'm 100% more happy now than I was a year ago.  All of these things are honestly habits that I committed myself to developing, because I recognized that I needed to commit to feeding my soul instead of my obsessive workaholic insecurities.

I still eat all the things I like.  I didn't stop eating cookies, and I'm not dripping in sweat or paying for a gym membership.  I'm not drinking some new detox formula.  I'm walking in nature and I'm keeping myself accountable for the calories that I'm putting in my body.  And I've lost 20 lbs in 8months.

In high school I was roughly 118 lbs., and in the 11 years since then I've been stressed out, had horrifying eating habits (like having seven coca colas a day — yes, SEVEN, you heard right) and slowly felt myself falling down this hole of being depressed and stressed and throwing my hands up in the air and stress eating a cheeseburger and a coke and a cookie.  Play that track on repeat for five years from about 2013 - 2018.  You end up with a pretty unhappy ~160 lb Lindsay that is mentally burnt out and exhausted but dragging herself through life everyday anyways, because what else can she do?

In 11 years I gained roughly 38 lbs, about 3.5 lbs per year.  It happened so slowly and steadily I wasn't really paying attention.  It wasn't until I woke up one day and realized I wanted to move fastfastfast like always, but I couldn't because I was tiredtiredtired. That and I was having breathing issues when I tried to push myself to move anyways.  In a lot of ways I see that moment as my body putting its foot down against my brain.

I recognized my issues were two-fold: part mental well-being, and part what I was consuming because of my stress.  So I attacked both.


And 8 months later I'm about halfway to where I want to be.  And I feel like this giant mental weight has been lifted off of me.  I feel calmer (though I could be even more calm), I feel more confident and I can enjoy a night out getting drinks or watching a movie and not be thinking about all of my stressors through the whole thing.

I'm just honestly really happy with where I'm at and where I'm going and how I feel day to day.  In addition to tracking my calories, I've also been using a bullet journal to track my mood day to day.  And I'm happy to say that while there are still sad/ anxious days, there are so many more happy or neutral days, and I value those so much.  There's something about keeping a record of this day to day in a very visual way that really makes you start to guard your days to make them good ones.  If it's in my control at all, I am determined to have a happy or neutral day everyday.

And things that make those days happy or neutral is not allowing other people to make me feel stressed or sad, working toward my goals, and making sure I'm doing something for enjoyment daily (read: walking, reading a book, getting drinks with friends).  If doing something enjoyable is on my to do list, it needs to be done.  It's not optional, and it's just as important as finishing a project I'm working on.

So I don't know if all that is just TMI or if it might help somebody else out there.  But basically it boils down to this:


  • I'm taking the time to walk more mornings and I feel great and lost a bunch of pound-os.   I use this free app to track my walks to log the calories burned.
  • I allow myself to eat things I like, and I just track my calories using this free app.
  • I'm patient and don't expect to lose a ton of weight overnight when I gained it over the course of a decade.  But I've lost over 20lbs in 8 months (that included the holidays!), and that feels great!
  • Honestly it probably isn't the fact that I lost weight that feels the best, it's more likely that it's that I am getting to connect with nature and spend time with Drew as a result of all this ♥ 

And finally, I just want to note that I did include links up there for the apps I use because I really use them to track my calories.  These thoughts expressed are my own and I'm not being paid to link to them or anything.  I'm just genuinely so excited that I hit the 22 lb mark this morning that I wanted to write this post.  I always thought it would be *so hard* to lose weight so I never really tried to, and I didn't want to pay a gym membership or get sucked into some fad diet.  Turns out for me, this method of just being consistent and committed to keeping good habits has been so rewarding.  Who knew? 

Until Next Time, 

- The Lovely Red Fox

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